GONE THROUGH FIRE:
Modjeska and Silverado Canyons and the 2007 Santiago Fire

WILLIAM "BILL" CAMPBELL

Orange County Supervisor

William Campbell

ABOUT

OH 4141  
Narrator William "Bill" Campbell
Interviewer Volker Janssen
Date June 28, 2008
Language English
Location Villa Park, Orange County, California
Project 2007 Santiago Fire
Format(s) Audio; Video; Final Transcript (34 pp.)
Other Field Notes; Photographs
Abstract An oral history with Supervisor Bill Campbell, a long-time Orange County resident. This interview was conducted for the Center for Oral and Public History and Tucker Wildlife about the Santiago Fire in Modjeska Canyon in October 2007. The purpose of this interview was to gather information about Campbell's personal and political experiences in Southern California prior to the fire and his role during the Santiago fire. The interviews addresses in particular Campbell's childhood memories of rural Pico Rivera, California; his father's work in the war industry and auto parts store; Boy Scout trips; fishing at Irvine Lake; engineering and business school: Boston vs. Orange County; work in aerospace; operating a Taco Bell, the family roots of community service; state assembly as a second career: immigrant labor, education reform, the California energy crisis; election to county supervisor in 1996; Campbell's relationship with canyon communities and the canyons' nature; Campbell's support for development and the canyonites' opposition; code enforcement in the canyons; fire safety and the Silverado-Modjeska (Sil-Mod) plan; Campbell's role in Santiago fire response; observations from helicopter, on-site, and the emergency operations center; emergency evacuation centers – which worked and which did not; the challenge of mandatory evacuation; liaison with the Inter-Canyon League; efforts of FEMA; community voluntarism, and why the fire department had to reject 2000 cookies; community relations after the fire; reconstruction: financial aid and reducing red tape; helping prepare for mudslides and the consequences of frequent evacuation orders; improving resource distribution in future disasters; the impact of global warming.
  INTERVIEW
Video Parts 1-4 (watch online)
Audio Part 1 (download.mp3)
Part 2 (download.mp3)
Transcript Text (download.pdfPDF File)

This project is made possible, in part, by a grant from the California Council for the Humanities. The Council is an independent non-profit organization and a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information on the Council, visit www.calhum.org.